The Commerce Department will throw you in jail for not filling out this survey
June 1, 2015
Chances are that you’ve neverheard of the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act that wasoriginally passed nearly 40 years ago.
And chances are you didn’t catchthe November 20, 2014 edition of the ‘Federal Register’, the USgovernment’s daily opus of new rules and regulations that ran 331 pagesthat day.
So, chances are, you have no idea thatthe Department of Commerce might just want to throw you in jail right now.I’ll explain.
Back in 1976, Congress decided that theyneeded more information on US companies’ international tradeactivities.
So they passed a law requiring theDepartment of Commerce to survey the biggest businesses in America to find outmore about what they were doing abroad.
These days, the survey is conductedevery five years. And like most surveys it’s a bunch of uselessbureaucratic drivel that only wastes the time of the poor souls who have tofill it out.
Now it’s something that can getyou thrown in jail.
Late last year the Commerce Departmentquietly published a new ‘rule’ in the Federal Register requiringevery American with certain investments abroad to fill out their survey,regardless of whether or not they were notified.
In other words, you’re justsupposed to know that you have to fill out this form.
And if you don’t, the penaltiesare severe.
For the first time ever the governmentis imposing both civil and CRIMINAL penalties for non-compliance.
The fine for not filling out the survey(known as BE-10) ranges from $2,500 all the way to $25,000.
And if they think you intentionallydidn’t file, you “may be imprisoned for not more than oneyear.”
Either way, even if you had no earthlyidea and had never heard of this survey, they reserve the right to seek“injunctive relief commanding such person to comply.”
So if you don’t fill out the form,they’ll get a judge to order you to comply.
This really borders on insanity.
The federal government of the UnitedStates of America… the Land of the Free... is willing to clog up thecourt system to either force people to fill out a survey, or to prosecute themfor not doing so.
Forget about rapists, murderers, andthieves. The government’s priority is to imprison people who don’tfill out surveys.
What’s really amazing is that yourelected representatives in Congress weren’t the ones to enact theseabsurd criminal penalties.
The Department of Commerce’sBureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) did this all on its own. They simply createda new ‘rule’, then buried it under hundreds of pages of otherregulations.
And even though Congress never even seesthem, and no reasonable person has ever heard of them, these rules have thesame weight and effect as the law.
So much for representativedemocracy.
Two important questions come tomind:
1) How many other rules that carrycriminal penalties might we be breaking at this very moment without evenrealizing it?
2) Just who the hell do these peoplethink they are?
Regardless of whether or not thepenalties are ever exacted is irrelevant.
It’s disgusting to even bethreatened with such atrocity, simply because some bureaucratic functionaryneeds to justify his/her position.
It’s a clear sign that intoday’s system, the government doesn’t exist to serve the people.They think the people exist to support the government.
Abraham Lincoln once told a war-tornnation that a government of the people, by the people, for the people, shallnot perish from this earth.
Tragically, Lincoln was totally wrong.Because this is what freedom has become in America.
Have you reached your breaking pointyet?
I’ll publish more about form BE-10soon. The quick and dirty is this: you need to file if you are a US individualor company that owned at least 10% of a foreign business at any time duringyour 2014 fiscal year (January 1 – December 31 for most folks.)
If you’re an individual, thereporting requirements are very simple-- just a few boxes to check. It mighttake you five minutes... which makes being threatened with criminal penaltieseven more ridiculous.
The deadline to submit for first-timefilers is June 30, 2015, and you can submit via mail, fax, or online. Read moreabout it here:
Premium members: I’ll have somedetailed information for you very soon that will make this incredibly easy.Stay tuned for more.